New Delhi: Sowing the seeds of a possible common agenda for Opposition parties if they get a shot at forming the government post elections, UPA chairperson and former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Saturday shared the platform with a host of political leaders and civil society groups and together with them launched a scathing attack on the Narendra Modi-led BJP government.
Mrs Gandhi accused the Prime Minister of destroying institutions which had been built painstakingly over 65 years and said that her party if voted to power, would put in place a mechanism to ensure that all promises made during elections are kept.
“The way the soul of our nation is being trampled for the past some time through a well-planned conspiracy is a matter of great concern,” she said adding,
“Regressive forces have systematically dismantled our institutions. The current government has undermined the welfare architecture that was laid down over the last 65 years.”
Mrs Gandhi also hit out at the BJP alleging that it does not respect the diversity of India.
“New definition of patriotism is being taught to us today. Those rejecting diversity are being labelled as patriots. Discrimination among our own citizen is being justified on the basis of caste, religion and ideology,” the UPA chairperson said.
Mrs Gandhi was speaking at an event at the Talkatora Stadium here where almost all Opposition political parties were represented, as were over 200 people’s movements and civil society organisations from Rajasthan, Bihar, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Delhi, among others.
NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Loktantrik Janata Party’s Sharad Yadav, RJD’s Tejashvi Yadav addressed the event through video conferencing. Also present were top Congress leaders like Ahmed Patel, K. Raju, Rajiv Gowda and Jairam Ramesh.
The event can be read as an attempt to sow seeds of a common agenda or “People’s Agenda” for Opposition parties in case they get a shot at forming the government after the results of the Lok Sabha polls are declared on May 23.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee had announced that a Common Minimum Programme (CMP) would be prepared before polls and a draft CMP was prepared by Samruddha Bharat Foundation, which has many Opposition leaders on its board.
The Deccan Chronicle had reported earlier that plans were afoot to rename any new Opposition coalition if formed as the “People’s Progressive Alliance”.